Mesopotamia has been regarded as the cradle of ancient glyphic arts as the earliest cylinder seals were proven to be first executed in Bronze Age Mesopotamia. The earliest cylinder seals can be dated as early as the fourth millennium BC. Since the fashion of engraving naturalistic images on precious and semi-precious stones began (circa 3500 BC), each following historical period contributed significant value in terms of aesthetic styles and technical developments to revive Mesopotamian glyphic arts. Griffins, one of the most favoured motifs, were frequently used by Akkadian artists on cylinder seals. They were known as the Lion-headed Egale within Mesopotamian religion and mythology, representing the Akkadian god Anzu, a deity linked with the wind, thunder and clouds.
Akkadian Hematite Cylinder Seal
A finely engraved Akkadian cylinder seal carved from hematite, pierced at the top for suspension. The body features an engraved register consisting of two winged griffins from a side profile. The base of the seal depicts the impression of an abstract quadruped. The quadruped’s body is composed of two connected circles and short, sharp incisions.
Period: The Akkadian Dynasty
Provenance: Ex major S.M. collection, London, acquired in 1970-99.
Condition: Fine condition.